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Urban Cost-Share Programs

What is a Raingarden?

A raingarden takes advantage of rainfall and stormwater runoff in its design and plant selection. Typically the area designated is engineered to withstand the extremes of moisture and concentrations of nutrients, particularly Nitrogen and Phosphorus, which are common in stormwater runoff. Raingardens are positioned near the source of runoff to slow the stormwater as it travels downhill, giving the stormwater more time to infiltrate and less opportunity to gain momentum and erosive power.


Advantages of Planting Raingardens

  • Increasing the amount of water being filtered into the ground while recharging groundwater

  • Helping protect from flooding and drainage problems

  • Helping protect streams and lakes from pollutants carried by stormwater runoff

  • Aesthetic beauty of yards and neighborhoods

  • Providing valuable wildlife habitat for birds, butterflies and insects

SWCD Office Raingarden

More Information


What is a Rain Barrel?

Rain barrels can capture and store roof runoff from small to medium size rain events. Water stored in rain barrels can be used to water flowers, landscape areas or irrigate lawns in between rain events. Disconnecting your downspout can help reduce direct runoff from small rain events and divert water from storm drains and ultimately our lakes and rivers. The more people that use rain barrels, the greater impact we have on improving our water quality in local lakes and river.

Advantages of Rain Barrels

  • Provide clean water for outdoor uses

  • Conserve water and other natural resources

  • Decrease the chance or magnitude of flooding

  • Minimize the effects of drought

  • Decrease contributions to water pollution

  • Capture rain water for watering your plants

Barrel Design

  • Size Dimensions: 32” H x 24” W

  • Capacity: 54 gallons

  • Weight in lb: 18lb when empty

  • Color: Brown

  • Composition: made from recycled materials

  • Key Features: attractive, expandable, durable, debris screen 

rain barrel

What is a Shoreland Restoration?


A shoreland restoration is a buffer zone area of native vegetation along the water’s edge. It can extend both onto the land and into the water. There is not a standardized buffer width that will keep the water clean, stabilize the bank, protect fish and wildlife, and satisfy human demands on the land, although any amount of natural shoreland is better than none.

Advantages of Installing Native Shoreland

  • Add beauty to the landscape and preserve our natural heritage

  • Decrease the amount of water needed for landscape maintenance

  • Enjoy abundant nature: flowers, shrubs, trees, aquatic plants, fish, insects, and birds

  • Filter out pollutants and runoff that degrade water quality

  • More leisure time to relax and enjoy the nature of life at the lakeshore

  • Prevent shoreline erosion by absorbing wave action

  • Produce long root systems to hold soil in place

  • Provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife

  • Require very little long-term maintenance if they are properly planted and established

Traditional Lawns


Lawns are shallow-rooted, provide little wildlife habitat, need frequent maintenance, and are often over-fertilized. These factors can lead to problems on your lake such as:

  • Shoreline erosion and lake sedimentation.

  • Algal blooms and excessive aquatic plant growth.

  • Loss of wildlife habitat, but an increase in nuisance animals.

shoreland before restoration

Shoreland Before

shoreland after restoration

Shoreland After

Contact Conservation Technician - Eric Mattson

763-614-2922 for more information on Urban Cost-Share programs

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